Red 2 (2013) – Dean Parisot

Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, and John Malkovich are back in Red 2, a sequel that came hot on the heels of the previous film, and added some more star power to its roster with Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lee Byung-Hun, Steven Berkoff, and David Thewlis.

Frank (Willis) gets the band back together again, Sara (Parker) included (who is eager to have some adventure again) to track down a missing nuclear device. He’s roped into it by Marvin’s (Malkovich) apparent death and ends up on a globe-trotting adventure that puts him back together with his old compatriots, even as he finds himself squaring off against Jack Horton (Neal McDonough).

It seems it ties back, once again, to a mission they were on previously, and may have information that is needed. They don’t have it. But to get ahead of the baddies, they’re going to have to get it and finesse any of their old contacts.

Frank has to work with an old flame, Katja (Zeta-Jones) who is a Russian agent, and Sarah is immediately jealous of her, and there’s a lot of fun banter, and character beats that let the actors have a lot of fun with everything that is going on, even as they track down the leads that will lead them to the film’s climax.

Once again, the humor is front and center, packed with some fun locales, and over-the-top action sequences. The storyline isn’t quite so straightforward this time out, Frank and the rest need to track down leads, contacts, and put things together, and it’s a great way to shoehorn in action sequences and familiar stars in guest roles.

Of course, there are twists and reveals, and just past the halfway mark in the film, the true villain is finally revealed, and how are Frank and the gang gonna handle that, while dodging all the other people hunting for them?

It’s fun, gets a little sillier towards the end of the film, but overall, this is a fun cast that is enjoyable to watch together, and as I mentioned during my blurb on the previous, Mary-Louise Parker. Sigh.

Of the two films, the first is the stronger, but this entry ends up being a solid follow-up while not quite embracing all of the things, and bits that made the first one so enjoyable. It’s a very fun idea though, and it definitely lets some wonderful actors who might not work together otherwise, have a lot of fun onscreen.

Throw in a score by Alan Silvestri (and Mary-Louise Parker) and Red 2 is a fun little diversion.

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